The Big 5: Only PDP can make Nigerians feed well – Jonathan; Middle-aged woman fronting as Aisha Buhari allegedly defrauds industrialist of N150m | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan on Monday urged Nigerians to vote for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the February 16 presidential elections, stressing that only the party can make sure Nigerians feed well.

Addressing a crowd of supporters and party faithfuls at its 2019 presidential election campaign flag-off in Sokoto, Jonathan said “Atiku is experienced enough and has demonstrated clearly from his personal and business life that he has that capacity to unite the country, make the economy grow, “so that all of us will have food to eat,” urging them not t vote wrongly, else their children and grandchildren will not forgive them.

“There is something that all of us need as human beings, everybody eats, everybody, every day must eat, and if you cannot eat well, then you are not happy. PDP is the only party that can make sure all of us eat very well, in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, called on UN-member countries to rededicate themselves to the task of rebuilding and restoring a healthy environment for future generations, noting that no country in the world can confront climate change alone.

The President who made the appeal while addressing the opening session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, using the case of the receding Lake Chad, warned that the challenges of climate change which include rising temperatures, desertification, floods, low agricultural yields and drying up of water bodies were enormous and evident to all.

“We urge that efforts to address the challenges of climate change be pursued within multilateral frameworks. Concerted efforts should be made to strengthen sub-regional and regional organisations, to serve as hubs for Climate Action and partnership,” he added.

The Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday paraded a middle-aged woman, Amina Mohammed accused of using the name and office of First Lady Aisha Buhari at the Presidential villa to stage fraudulent acts, including defrauding an industrialist, one Dr Alexander Chika Okafor also known as Chikason, to the tune of N150 million.

DSS Spokesman, Peter Nnochirionye Afunanya who disclosed this to reporters at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, stated that she used false identity to evade protocol and scrutiny, thus gaining unauthorized access into the villa and particularly the residence of the First Lady and wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari; she took advantage of the fact that personalities such as First Ladies, ministers and certain categories of officials are not taken through rigorous protocol and security checks at the villa (security) post.

The accused has however denied the allegations by the DSS, stressing that she was never a fraudster but an agent who only arranges transactions in Federal Government real estate, with the assistance of top government officials, including  who had been benefitting from such.

An FCT High Court, Apo on Monday, granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leave to arraign on Feb. 25, former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and a former Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling company, Olajide Omokore, on five counts bordering on conspiracy and illegal act of accepting and giving gratifications

Trial judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, granted the EFCC leave, after the prosecution counsel, Faruk Abdullahi told the court that while investigations were ongoing, the former minister left the country and is currently in the UK.

Prominent Activist and Convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, was on Monday released from Police custody, hours after he was taken out of Keffi Prison, where he earlier was remanded on the orders of a Karshi Magistrate Court last week..

The Police had arraigned him, as well as Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams for “criminal defamatory and derogatory conduct against constituent authority and breach of law and order” in relation to “posts on his Facebook page,” among other offences, following their arrest in front of the Force Headqaurters in Abuja on November 28, 2018 while leading a protest to demand the neutrality of the Police in the 2019 general election.

His case was adjourned till 21 January next year.

And stories from around the world:

Qatar will withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced.

The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for a significant percentage of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, on Monday. (Al Jazeera)

The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament plans to give state awards to the border guards who fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors a week ago, Russian media say.

Vyacheslav Volodin said they acted “faultlessly, courageously” to thwart what Russia describes as a violation of its maritime border in the Black Sea. (BBC)

Prime Minister Theresa May will urge parliament to back her Brexit deal on Tuesday at the start of a high-stakes five-day debate that could determine her fate and whether Britain leaves the European Union without a deal. (Reuters)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday a visit to Seoul by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “a possibility” and that such a trip would help to improve Pyongyang’s relationship with the United States.  (Reuters)

CIA Director Gina Haspel will give a closed briefing to leaders of several US Senate committees on Tuesday on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to two sources familiar with the planned meeting. (The Guardian, UK)


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